Album of the Year
Winner - Black Keys "El Camino"
Runner Up - P!nk "The Truth About Love"
Commentary - Black Keys have been around for a long time, constantly creating inventive and entertaining rock music for almost a decade. I am so happy to see that the Recording Academy has finally started to really recognize their talent, and I am happy to see more mainstream audiences finally discovered their sound and music. In my opinion its the best album of year, and should be nominated come Wednesday night.
Single of the Year
Winner - Pink "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)"
Runner Up - Black Keys "Lonely Boy"
Commentary - So if I love the Black Keys so much, why isn't their hit single Lonely Boy winning this as well? Because ever person needs some song that you can just blast in your car, that is catchy and fun, yet has a deeper meaning to it so that its not something from Justin Bieber or One Direction. P!nk is constantly cranking out hits that are appealing to all music fans across different genres, and consistently blend catchy pop backgrounds with raw emotion. Blow Me (One Last Kiss) is a perfect example of what makes her one of the best musicians working in pop music today.
Best Rap Album
Winner - Killer Mike "R.A.P. Music"
Runner Up - Rick Ross "God Forgives...I Don't"
Commentary - Rick Ross finally delivers an album that is worthy of his husky swagger. But no rap album this year compared to the underrated Killer Mike's R.A.P. Music. It is killer poetic, electrically delivered, and will most likely stand out as one of the best rap albums in several years. Effortlessly blending cultural and political references with top notch productions, Killer Mike proved this year why he needs to be taken seriously, and why he is here to stay.
Best Pop Album
Winner - P!nk "The Truth About Love"
Runner Up - Florence + The Machine "Ceremonials"
Commentary - The Truth About Love once again shows how P!nk's life, emotional state, and fears are poured into her music. Some may scoff saying that she is too mainstream, but what P!nk has proven time and time again is that you can be yourself and still be respected and adored by fans across the country and world. On The Truth About Love, P!nk once again proves why she is one of the best, and why she deserves even more recognition than she gets.
Best Rock/Alternative Album
Winner - Black Keys "El Camino"
Runner Up - Jack White "Bluderbluss"
Commentary - See Album of the Year
Best R&B Album
Winner - Frank Ocean "Channel Orange"
Runner Up - Estelle "All of Me"
Commentary - Estelle's sultriness is hard to beat, but I think everyone can agree that within the R&B industry, no one hit as big, or with such force as newcomer Frank Ocean. It is both emotional and tender, as well as incredibly smooth and stylish, a perfect combination for R&B music, and creates a piece of art that is effortlessly binded together as a singular work. A truly astonishing feat for someone just starting out.
Best Country Album
Winner - Ryan Bingham "Tomorrowland"
Runner Up - Carrie Underwood "Blown Away"
Commentary - So many country stars nowadays are trying way to hard to either be a redneck or a pop icon. Bingham is borderline country, so some may be confused as to why he is in this category. In my opinion he is essentially a rough and tumble, grumbling, angry version of a country artist, and his sound his like a more twangy version of a young Bob Dylan. More importantly, he proves that sometimes rough and ragged country rock can be far more artistic and original, than the polished country pop of the Taylor Swift crowd.
Best New Artist
Winner - Frank Ocean
Runner Up - (TIE) Jessie J and Ellie Golding
Commentary - Jessie J and Ellie Golding both had great years, on the heels of Adele as part of the latest British invasion. But Frank Ocean's first full album was one of the best of the year and one of the best R&B albums of the last ten years. Not other new artist even comes close.
Best Pop Performance
Winner - P!nk "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)"
Runner Up - Jessie J "Domino"
Commentary - See Single of the Year
Best Rock Performance
Winner - Black Keys "Lonely Boy"
Runner Up - Jack White "Freedom at 21"
Commentary - Lonely Boy is definitely a great record, a wonderful mix of great rock lyrics and music, and a bit of catchiness that makes you kind of want to dance.
Best Country Performance
Winner - Ryan Bingham "Heart of Rhythm"
Runner Up - Carrie Underwood "Good Girl"
Commentary - Sure its more rock than country, but its the best thing coming even close to a country song released this year, so it wins the prize.
Best R&B/Rap Performance
Winner - Killer Mike feat. Bun B, T.I. and Trouble "Big Beast"
Runner Up - Frank Ocean "Thinkin Bout You"
Commentary - This song is just killer, yes pun intended, full of energy and great lines, this is what hip hop should be about.